I have nothing but admiration for two writers I've never met, Joyce and Jim Lavene. Ten series under three names, plus a standalone. And, that's only what I find on Stop,You're Killing Me. I admire the creativity it takes to come up with three witches who are hoping to retire to Boca Raton in Spell Booked, the first in a new series.
Molly, Elise, and Olivia find that their powers are waning, so they are hoping to find three younger witches to teach, and then turn over their spell book. They have their eye on a young librarian who doesn't know she's a witch, but before they can discuss it with her, Olivia is killed, and their spell book is stolen. Now, two witches on the verge of retirement have to turn to a novice and a powerful witch they don't trust for help in finding a killer. Molly's a little handicapped in the search, though. Her family's been threatened. Her son has dropped out of college and returned home to live. And, maybe worst of all, her husband is a police officer investigating Olivia's murder, but Molly never told him she's a witch because the Grand Council of witches forbids it. It's only going to get worse.
Welcome to the Lavenes' idea of preparing for a witch's retirement. Spell Booked is a terrific mystery filled with delightful characters and a great deal of humor despite the tragedy and murder investigation. There's one wonderful scene when witches show up from all over to "poke" fun at a messenger from the Grand Council. There are other funny scenes involving the cat familiars, a ghost, a werewolf. I could go on, but I only hinted at some of the characters so I don't spoil surprises.
I'm sorry for the trouble Molly and Elise have to go through. But, I'm so glad Joyce and Jim Lavene decided to relate the story of witches who hope to retire. Spell Booked is magical, a fun mystery with dangerous undertones.
The Lavenes website is www.joyceandjimlavene.com
Spell Booked by Joyce and Jim Lavene. Berkley Prime Crime. 2014. ISBN 9780425268254 (paperback), 294p.
FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.